Getting Your Mind and Body Back on Track while in Recovery
When you’re recovering from addiction, your whole life has to recover. Abusing drugs or alcohol devastates both the mind and the body. There is a lot of healing you have to go through on your way towards the other side.
The mind and body are intrinsically connected. If you are not taking care of the health of one, you will feel it in both. That’s why so many people with major illnesses often experience depression, and why we feel mental stress and anxiety in our body. While you’re in recovery, it’s important to focus on healing both mind and body for holistic wellness.
Nutrition & Diet
Eating a wholesome and nutritious diet is the first step to healing both your body and mind. The body needs to be fueled to repair the body deterioration cause by drugs and alcohol abuse. There is also evidence that proper nutrition helps the brain function and some nutrient-focused therapies can help manage psychiatric disorders.
- Eat plenty of whole grains. Avoid bread, pasta, and other foods made with refined, white flour.
- Make fiber rich fruits and vegetables the foundation for all your meals.
- Eat plenty of lean proteins such as chicken, fish, turkey, beans, tofu, nuts, and eggs.
- Find ways to incorporate probiotics into your diet by consuming things like yogurt, kimchi, and kombucha.
- Cook food in a cast iron pan to make sure you’re getting enough of this essential nutrient.
- Eat foods full of omega-3 fatty acids including chia seeds, salmon, and walnuts.
- Other important nutrients for brain and body include folate, B12, choline, zinc, magnesium, SAM-e, vitamin D, and amino acids.
Exercise & Sleep
While in the throes of your addiction, daily exercise and quality sleep were probably some of the first priorities to go. The good news is by committing yourself back to these activities, you will be making recovery that much easier.
The endorphins and other feel-good neurochemicals released through exercise can help replace the high you felt when using. Exercise also helps relieve stress in a positive way instead of letting anxiety trigger your addiction. People who work out also tend to have a better mindset than those who don’t– you need that kind of positivity when you’re going through recovery.
Drugs and alcohol mess with your mind’s chemistry and disrupt any healthy sleep patterns you have. It’s common for people going through recovery to experience sleep disorders like insomnia. However, the body needs its rest in order to survive. Proper nutrition and an active lifestyle can help encourage sleep, but if you need more help consult a physician about ways to make it easier for you to get sufficient rest while in recovery.
Routine in Recovery
Creating a daily routine for your life is essential for substance abuse recovery. When you have your day planned out, you’re less likely to become distracted or bored. Routines make it easier to keep up with the things you need for mind and body recovery including diet, exercise, and sleep.
It’s best to keep it simple. Start by designating times for the essentials: three meals a day, a time to exercise, and an hour or so when it is time to settle down for bed. From there you can fill in the vacant time slots with chores, work, meetings, appointments, and hobbies. Don’t overcrowd your schedule. The structure should be comforting rather than overwhelming.
People going through addiction recovery have to work to heal both the mind and body. The first step to doing this is eating a wholesome diet that will fuel your body to repair any damage done by alcohol or drug abuse. Exercise is extremely important. It helps rebalance the brain’s chemistry while boosting self-esteem. While many addicts suffer from sleep disorders when going through recovery, it’s important that they get a healthy amount of rest. Lifestyle changes can help encourage sleep, but some people need to consult their doctor about options for overcoming conditions like insomnia. Structuring a daily routine around these needs and lifestyle changes can help you stay safely on the road to recovery.